Review: Big Special, The Joiners, Southampton

Review: Big Special, The Joiners, Southampton

By Anita Foxall.

Big Special are the result of a music/spoken word 17-year-old friendship. They claim ‘it’s not Big and it’s not Special’ but they came over to the Joiners on Sunday 7 April and showed us they actually are that big and that special of a band.

Big Special stepped on stage to the sound of Craig David’s 7 Days, but unlike Craig’s lyrics, they didn’t come here to ‘chill on a Sunday’, they came to cause amazing chaos. And how could they not enrapture the audience with such a personalised touch?

The lyrics are powerful and delivered with captivating anger picturing the sadness and exertion of life and the struggles imposed by poor mental health. There is a large spoken word component in their songs that then break into singing, and Joe Hicklin’s magnificent voice carries an incredible power.

Throughout the show, I was absolutely reassured that this was a gig meant for me to review seeing there were two proper spoken word moments, when Joe Hicklin read his poems (which will very likely turn into Big Special songs).

The complicity between the duo and interaction with the audience were constant. They were clearly having a great time and so were we.

Big Special are releasing their first album, Post Industrial Home Town Blues, on Friday 10 May. If you go to one of their shows you will be able to purchase a voucher code to pre-order it.

In the meantime, check their songs and videos here.

The two great opening bands also need to be mentioned: Alien Chicks from London, who are not alien to the Southampton music scene at all, after having played at least four times in different Southampton venues in the last year, and they get better every time I see them. And, Grandma’s House from Bristol who’s debut in this city was remarkable.

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